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tv   U.S. Senate Sen. Mc Connell - Close to Deal  CSPAN  March 24, 2020 8:34pm-8:46pm EDT

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president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: for weeks now the american people have been contending with the coronavirus
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pandemic that's spreading across our country and the massive -- massive disruptions to daily life it is creating for all of us. they are grappling with small business closure mass layoffs and uncertainty for their families. but that isn't all, madam president. for the last several days, madam president, in the midst of all of that they've also had to watch the united states senate spin it's wheel. as we convene this morning roughly 40% of our population is under stay at home orders from state leaders. employers across america are wondering how they'll keep the lights on. doctors, doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals all crying out for support we literally have army field hospitals on the way to being set up in our major
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american cities. in the space of just a few weeks this has become unfortunately our new normal. this is a national crisis. it's the most serious threat to americans health in over a century and quite likely the greatest risk of america's jobs and nprosperity that we've seen since the great depression. hundreds of thousands of americans have lost our jobs because so much of commerce has been put on pause. families are wondering how they are going to pay their rent or mortgage. in eight days rent due on april 1 and they don't know how they're gonna play bills. or make a car payment.
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american seniors have seen decades of savings cut down in the space of days. as the markets literally tumble. our national life has literally been transformed in less than a month. the e urgency and the gravity of this moment cannot be lost on anyone. every day, every hour congress delays in passing a significant relief package we risk more american livelihoods and the safety of more professionals.
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right after i fast-track the democratic house relief bill for the summit i immediately turned the senate toward bigger relief package for the american people. nine days ago i laid out key objectives of our work. we had to help main street small businesses and act to stabilize the foundation for our economy and we had to send more resources to medical professionals and our healthcare system. five days ago senate republicans released initial ã ãwe put forward bold policies like sending cash directly to americans. pouring money into small
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businesses. we knew we needed a proposal to address our nation's pain at every level. some voices have tried to pit some americans that is utter nonsense. american workers need paychecks, they need jobs, the working men and women of this country do need direct relief from this government and crisis but forgiveness saves, they also need their paychecks. they need to be able to resume their lives and their jobs once this is over. there is a term for when you separate employees from employers. there is a term for that. it's called unemployment.
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let me say that again, there is a term for when you separate employees from employers. it's called unemployment. that's what we are trying to avoid, this is no time to point fingers or stoke these culture wars, this is a time to unify. perhaps more than any moment in living memory all of us americans are in this together. this pandemic is not the fault of the american workers who make this country run, it's not the fault of small business owners. it's not the fault of major national employers. everyone needs help. we are all in this together.
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he made in all of the above approach and that's where framework puts forward. helpful workers and families and employers and healthcare providers. ããas soon as i released our first draft i immediately invited the other side, these folks over here to make their suggestions. that's what you call urgency. we set up bipartisan working groups i asked negotiators to work together to turn our rough draft into something they could pass in the senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.republicans and democrats traded ideas.
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democrats asked for many changes the initial draft and received money. the updated tax updated a few days ago included proposals from the other side as our colleagues have ããeven further changes have been made at their request. this majority has gone out of its way to make this process as bipartisan and open as possible. the administration has bent over backwards to work with democrats and address their concerns. at last, i believe we are on the five yard line. it's taken a lot of noise and a lot of rhetoric to get us here at . at different times we received democrat counteroffers that demanded things like new admission standards or tax credits for solar panels. we saw the speaker of the house release and encyclopedia of
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unrelated demands as though it were a coronavirus proposal somehow. despite all that, we are very close. we are close to a bill that takes our bold republican framework, integrates further ideas from both parties and delivers huge progress on each of the four core priorities i laid out a week ago. today madam president today the senate has a chance to get back on track, today we can make all the washington drama fade away if we act today what americans will remember and what history will record is that the senate did the right thing. that we came together, that we took a lesson from the way
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americans are uniting all across the country and working together we combined ideas from both sides and took a bold step to protect americans and help our nations. i'm not sure how many ways to say it madam president, but the clock has run out, the buzzer is sounding. the hour for bargaining as though this were business as usual has expired. the american people need our democratic friends to take yes for an answer. i hope that will happen today. doctors and nurses need masks. families need help, small businesses need cash, hospitals
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need funding. sthere senate majority is ready to deliver those things. we been ready to deliver those things for a while. i hope today is the day this body will get it done. >> madam president, i will be brief. i just finished a very productive meeting with secretary steve mnuchin, ãã and mark meadows the president acting chief of staff. last night i thought we were on the five yard line, right now we are on the two yard line. as i also said last night, at this point of the few outstanding issues, i don't see any that can't be overcome within the next few hours. here are the things that we


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